Music of the Month: Alleluia! Amen! Eight Organ Preludes for the Church Year

May 7, 2024 Nathan Grime

The Eight Organ Preludes for the Church Year series continues with “Alleluia! Amen!” and features the accessible and versatile writing that characterizes previous releases in the series. Organists of varied ability levels will find these pieces useful throughout the Church Year as well as musically edifying. This edition is wonderful for any church organist’s library!

Organ Preludes for the Church Year

Matthew Machemer’s latest volume of his Eight Organ Preludes for the Church Year series again includes a bit of everything: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and more. In addition to spanning the length of the Church Year, these organ preludes feature a variety of compositional styles that should entice both the organist and listener.


Beginning in Advent, “Alleluia! Amen” features a prelude on the tune O HEILAND, REISS DIE HIMMEL AUF, most associated with the hymn “O Savior, Rend the Heavens Wide” (Lutheran Service Book 355). The tune also accompanies the hymn “Preach You the Word” (LSB 586). This feisty setting alternates between sections in 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 meter.


For a dose of Christmas, a stately setting of REGENT SQUARE is included. The tune accompanies the hymn “Angels from the Realms of Glory” (LSB 367) and “Lord, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing” (LSB 924). The active pedal line features the tune’s opening phrase throughout the prelude.


A similarly majestic setting of WOJTKIEWIECZ should be useful during the Epiphany season for its association with the hymn “Rise, Shine, You People” (LSB 825). The prelude will best feature the melody with a strong solo reed. After featuring the hymn’s melody, the piece moves into an imitative section in A major before returning to its native F major for an exalted finish. The tune also accompanies the All Saints’ hymn “Saints, See the Cloud of Witnesses” (LSB 667).


An introspective and dignified setting of JESU, MEINES LEBENS LEBEN / “Christ the Life of All the Living” (LSB 420) is fitting for Lententide. Registration suggestions for manipulating the organ’s Swell box provide for a dynamically effective rendering of the piece.


A pair of contrasting settings on REGION THREE / “Our Paschal Lamb, That Sets Us Free” (LSB 473) are useful for the Easter season. The first prelude features a jaunty, syncopated rhythm to accompany the hymn tune, and the second features the hymn tune in the pedal line. These two preludes give the organist an excellent pair of options on this relatively young hymn tune.


In addition to the preludes on tunes connected to a particular season of the Church Year, this volume includes a delightful setting of LITTLE FLOCK / “Have No Fear, Little Flock” (LSB 735), a driving and energetic setting of MARION / “Rejoice, O Pilgrim Throng” (LSB 813), and a contemplative setting of SUFFICIENTIA / “Entrust Your Days and Burdens” (LSB 754).


In addition to being useful throughout the Church Year, these preludes will be useful throughout the church service as prelude, voluntary, or postlude music. They also afford the organist an opportunity to explore different registration options and articulation styles.

Order your copy of Alleluia! Amen! Eight Organ Preludes for the Church Year to bring something new to your church each season. 

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